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Parents preach vocational path

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A quarter of British parents are actively discouraging their children from going to University – due to the hike in tuition fees, according to new research.

The shock findings emerged in a poll of 1,000 parents of kids aged 13 to 18 – and shows 88 per cent consider the new costs announced by the Government to be absolutely ridiculous.

Indeed, 82 per cent of parents believe the rise in fees make it nigh on impossible for any normal teenager to go to University.

And 42 per cent say there is no way in this world they could afford to fund their child’s further education either now or in the future.

Instead, 59 per cent are encouraging their children to work their way up in a job, while 58 per cent are recommending an apprenticeship.

And 14 per cent of parents are encouraging their children to go on a gap year to gain vocational experience.

Gemma Turner, spokeswoman for i-to-i TEFL, which commissioned the research, said:  ‘’The rise in tuition fees is definitely going to deter some parents from sending their children to university.

“The costs are set to soar in 2012 and many parents and children alike have a lot to consider in terms of preparing for the future.

“But there are so many options for young people out there and parents need to recognise the cultural benefits of heading off to travel and explore other routes other than university.

“Taking a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course and then teaching abroad offers security for those that want to gain vocational experience.

“This also fuels the opportunity for travelling or for their children to do something different with their lives. It also offers them a job placement and negates the risk of not having some form of employment.”

The poll shows a quarter of parents polled would even be happy for their child to do voluntary work as a start to their career.

While 17 per cent are considering pushing their children to do an Open University course and 12 per cent will encourage them to do short courses from home.

Only one in 10 parents are going to encourage their child to work and save until they can afford to fund their own University education.

As well as citing the new fees as a reason why they don’t want their kids to go to University, 14 per cent also consider the three year stint to be “one long holiday”.

While 42 per cent are bothered by the fact that there is no real guarantee of a job at the end of the course.

A quarter believe it is a complete waste of money and the same percentage say their child doesn’t actually know what they want to do for a career.

The spokeswoman continues: “It can be hard for youngsters to decide what they want to do – leaving school or college is the end of an era and it’s not always easy deciding on the best course of action.

“For those who do not have an idea of what they want to do, take a gap year, a internship is a great starting point and a unique experience.

“We believe that the benefits of an internship will give young people huge amounts of confidence and a safe introduction to living somewhere completely and utterly foreign.

“Employers are looking for independence, initiative and teamwork as the top qualities that they look for in the work place, clearly coinciding with those skills believed to be gained through experiential travel and teaching”.

On the whole, 45 per cent of parents firmly believe their child has a better chance of being employed if they take a gap year instead of going to University.

And 82 per cent believe their offspring’s future would be brighter if they simply worked their way up within a good organisation.

Interestingly, eight in 10 parents honestly believe experience is worth more than education these days as competition for any job is so high.

While 71 per cent think in many cases employers have no interest in what kind of degree a candidate has.

Video - Inside a TEFL classroom

The rise in tuition fees is definitely going to deter some parents from sending their children to university

Gemma Turner, spokeswoman for i-to-i TEFL

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